Baseball star Jason Goodyear leads this cast of very screwed up characters in Neimen’s 2020 novel. Here is my book review The Cactus League by Emily Neimens
It’s spring training time in the brutal Arizona dessert where this book opens to a long time coach returning to his Arizona home. But instead of the beautiful home he left last fall, squatters have trashed everything inside and out.
And this is how this story begins, a story about baseball…or is it? It’s more a story about money, ego and too much of both.
Jason Goodyear is harboring a secret, as he quietly unravels. Most people think it’s his recent divorce. Little do they know his ex-wife has her own set of demons. And in fact, every person in this novel is either hiding from or on full-display demonstrating a life of excess. Excess sex drive, excess drugs, excess gambling, and excess poverty…it’s all there during spring training.
A wide cast of characters surround our protagonist Jason Goodyear including an unsuspecting rookie, an ailing agent and his assistant fleeing from a violent relationship. And there is a sex-addict-baseball-wife-wannabe who follows baseball players looking for sex. And there is a sweet and confused little boy who can’t make heads or tails of his sorry little life.
How can so many screwed up people come together in this story? Well, Neimens does it well, as long as you realize it’s really not a story about baseball.
Thanks for reading my book review The Cactus League by Emily Neimens
***Three stars for The Cactus League by Emily Neimens
Read last week’s review Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Eagans
My current read The Island of Missing Trees
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